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(Youth Ambassador Raymond Maro attending the EAC Youth Regional Event in Nairobi Kenya)

    1.  What is YALDA and what was your role there?

YALDA stands for ‘Youth Alliance for Leadership Development Africa’. It is a networking organization that is truly Africa branded : “By Africans, For Africa!”. This non-profit international organization was established in order to create a resourceful networking database for those with a strong interest in Africa. The network is centred around YALDA branches, primarily at African universities, and serves to increase the capacity of youth in Africa for developing positive leadership skills and to espouse an honest work ethic.From 2011-12, I served as YALDA Branch Director at United States International University and in 2013, I was elected by International Committee as the 1st YALDA International Publicity Chair which I served until May 2015. I am currently a Board Member of YALDA International Executive Committee.

    2.  As an EAC Youth Ambassador to United Republic of Tanzania, what does your position entail and how do you think this impacts Tanzania on a whole?

My main work is Youth sensitization on East African Community integration. We have our Ambassadorial Platform under the East African Community Secretariat where we work as a team on championing integration agenda across our East African region.Just like other African youth in the continent, Tanzanian youth have a right and place to belong to this big regional body known as East African Community.  Tanzanian youth voice is fully represented and hence they enjoy all the benefits and opportunities that come with such integration.

Tanzania at large enjoys her membership to East African Community and is committed to fast track the integration agenda.

    3.  In which ways do you think your current roles within your country effect the whole of Africa, or at least, in which ways do you hope it does? Do you hope to make an impact throughout Africa and how?

Since Tanzania is a loyal and staunch member of Africa Union, my roles within my country affect both directly and indirectly on the continental resolutions.   All decisions met at African Union in regards to social welfare, development or youth agenda that affects the whole of Africa, need our prior consultations opinions and contributions where we youth leaders of Tanzania and other EAC partner states are fully involved.In 2013, I led the EAC Youth Ambassadors delegation to African Union High Level Youth Leaders Panel on Agenda 2063 in Dakar, Senegal. The panel under AU Youth Program was collecting youth views and contributions to Africa we want. We in Tanzania, together with our fellows from EAC Partner States participated under one umbrella of EAC having one Position Paper as a region. This indeed helped to shaped in regional views that eventually have an impact at the continental level.

    4.  What advice would you give to youth members of the diaspora and those throughout Africa regarding their involvement with the continent (politically, culturally, scientifically, through business and investment or tackling injustice and inequality – you may pick 1 or more)?

I would like to appeal to all youth members of the Diaspora and those throughout Africa; to remember that they have an obligation to take advantage of the opportunity they have as United Africa Diaspora members and Continental shapers in science and technology, leadership and justice.Throughout my work, I have come to believe that Africa has nascent intelligentsia that we can empower ourselves to become the quality intelligentsia that our continent deserves.

To all youth members of Diaspora and those in the continent, we have to act to ensure that as we inherit the future as leaders and people of the continent of endless possibilities, we will have done our best to build Africa.

To all comrades in Diaspora, you have a duty and sacred responsibility to help us in the continent, to champion Africa integration, hence strengthening our unity and solidarity towards achieving sustainable development. Most of us believe integration is no longer an option but a prerequisite to development.

TZ President with Raymond                    WIth EAC SG

(LEFT: 4th Tanzania President HE Jakaya Kikwete with Youth Ambassador Raymond Maro.

RIGHT: EAC Secretary General HE. Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera in group photo with Raymond Maro and Regional leaders.)